tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 18, 2014 4:00am-6:01am EST
we are going to talk about native american spirituality, in particular cherokee. there is a forum being provided that was not provided in the old traditional newsroom setting. that is great for people interested in it. i think it should be funded, and it is being funded. it is fabulous that it is being funded. but it is difficult to raise money in this harsh environment. it is wonderful that there are big endowments. there is the ford foundation. are all these organizations out there becoming absolutely vital, if we want this kind of coverage to continue. there are smaller funders in britain doing the same thing. many podcasts are done on a shoestring and are not making you rich, but it is rewarding and enriching in other ways.
>> i will do one more. you don't have to answer this. i am wondering if you thought about the question of whether some religions get more better coverage than others. either religions that get more and better and why? >> i am talking from a western perspective and my experience in the media here. i think the coverage has changed. it has traditionally been quite reverential toward christianity. in the bbc that i joined, and in this section of the bbc that was the religious department there were a lot of christian devotional programs put out. and even the news, it was, and still to a certain extent is largely about christianity.
that reflects the audience in the domestic sphere, and it is still quite a churched audience that listens to the program. i would be constantly pushing the boundaries a little bit, very interested in covering different religions. islam has got a real beating in the press for a long time. i think and hope that has changed quite a bit, especially in the bbc, and npr. islam remains a big challenge for us because it remains, to a certain extent, in much of the media, foreign. people do try to fit it into categories, discourse that does not fit it. it was interesting after 9/11 to see western governments, such as the british government, and , the london bombings,
the british government went out looking for the moderate voices of islam. they try to co-opt certain groups. that did not go down very well in many muslim communities. and they looked at sufis. they said they are great. and then they thought, they actually have a very traditional view of the koran and women's rights. interesting process: on that continues. process goinging on that continues. i would like to see fuller coverage that gives all angles of the story. certainly, islam became the news because of negative news events. it is much harder to get into initiatives happening within islam and between religions that are positive developments. such as the common word initiative that is happening within islam. tony blair's foundation is involved in encouraging engagement as well is to look at the role of religion in foreign policy.
an area he believes has been under assessed for many years when people look at ideologies and different economic circumstances are not looking at religious causes. an outshoot of the tony blair initiative. initiatives to bring young people together to talk religion. that is interesting but hard to sell as a new story. >> 9/11 was the thing which has really given a boost to islam, and the coverage of islam. but the truth of the matter is watching," "god which is a bbc domestic religion covers shows in the early 1990's which question different groups among christians, including islamic listeners and viewers, ask questions like, if you want
more, what happens when it turns over? it was always islam. that would say we want more. ignals were well before 9/11. >> there were some of us reporting on islam before 9/11. i mentioned the resolution and reform series on islam that i was doing. other people were talking about it, it it was almost like it suddenly caught the news editors at the top unawares. they were playing catch-up and unfortunately this happens quite a lot, a reactive environment. i think that is why it is good to have specialists. they're less reactive and more proactive. >> we have time for one more -- three more.
we will start over here to my left. >> i did research on religion in the context of korea. i found that most of the time, journalists do cover religion in a positive manner. i found that they have kind of expectations of religion, what religion can do for society. can you tell me one or more experiences when you cover religion in a policy manner. and why did you decide to do that? >> i didn't set out with an agenda, but there have been tragic stories out of which some very positive messages have come from communities. christian communities. in a couple of instances i can think of, we had the july 7
bombings in london. tragic events. the london underground was bombed and a bus. a young man was killed in the london bus bombing. i approached his mother and as a human being, i felt a little bit reluctant. here is a woman in full grief for her only son. and yet i had heard that she had a deep christian faith. the catholic cathedral that she attended gave me her number. i asked permission from her to get the number. she gave me the most moving interview that i have ever done in my life. this was within 24 hours with him losing her son. the interview went out on the morning news program on bbc radio 4 called "today." it is usually a very
gladiatorial, presenter versus politician, three minutes of hard fighting over political issues of the day. this one was about eight minutes and really stunned mainstream audience and a lot of editors as she talked in great depth and with huge heart about her son and about the impact of the bombings on her family but about her deep christian faith, how schieffer gave -- how she forgave the bombers, and this was 24 hours later. how she prayed for the bombers' families and it was a really, really moving event that came out of something that was a real tragic case. you could have focused on here we go again and looking at the negative of religion. this is something that was very positive and very moving came out of it. in those sorts of situations -- another, when i was washington
correspondent a few years ago. there was another one, the tragic shooting in amish country in pennsylvania in lancaster county. that was a fascinating example allhe media rushed there, of the hosts of the evening news channels were there, all the satellite trucks, cars it was two worlds colliding. you had all of the satellite trucks and journalists standing there reporting as a horse-drawn cart went past. that was a physical illustration of the two worlds colliding. you interviewed some of these families who had lost their children in a tragic shooting and they talked about forgiveness and the bible told them to believe in a certain approach that was forgiving. they instantly forgave the families. it was very moving. things stood still for the secular media and this is religion in a different light. i didn't set out to do a positive religion story, but some events allowed those moments to unfold.
they were very moving, i think. >> i would like to give you an opportunity to return to the question about whether some religions are treated differently in the media or more difficult to cover. i teach in the anthropology department here and i do research in sri lanka. i have been aware that from a media point of view, it is often very ironic and difficult for reporters to report from a place like sri lanka which has produced violence that has religious overtones to it that does not let it conform to our stereotypes of the religions that we have ahead of time. two examples and i would like to offer some comments if you can think of any. the recently concluded the civil
-- the recently concluded civil ka, which concluded in 2009, it was conducted by a rebel group and it was very often the case in the press that it was assumed that they were a religious group. that there cause was some kind of religious protest. it was assumed because they tamil, they must all be hindus. some of the most powerful members of the groups and suicide bombers were christian. more recently, and since we are in boulder i think we have to bring this up, i think that buddhism always gets a favorable treatment in the press and it is the favorite religion here in boulder, for sure. [laughter] recently there has been a very militant religious conflict in
lanka like burma and sri led by buddhist monks. ironically, against the muslims. these are counted intuitive -- these are counterintuitive stories and i think they are a challenge to journalism. >> they are. >> you have any suggestions of how they could be covered better? >> when you mention sri lanka, i then thought of myanmar, burma, and the way that buddhist monks have been inciting violence against the muslim minority. that has shocked a lot of people around the world who understood buddhism to be a vegetarian, peace-loving, very gentle, meditative religion focused on raising one's consciousness. and achieving enlightenment. the truth on the ground is often quite different. like everybody, new journalists have to catch up on that sometimes. that has certainly been the case
in myanmar, burma. technically the bbc now calls burma myanmar. it is a challenge and you're right. quite often, buddhism and hinduism are given gentle treatment. i remember reporting a lot on hinduism in india and the nationalist parties there that gives a different face to it than the one we often see in america, in boulder. it is an ongoing challenge and i think it is right that some religions are possibly treated more gently than others. of course, it also depends on where you're coming from and which media you're talking about. it isn't purely religion, but in america it seems that israel is given more positive treatment in the press and it is quite the opposite in europe. that is an ongoing issue about that and the bbc often has to find itself answering to
arguments and reports on whether it is reporting on conflict in the middle east and the sick -- in the middle east and the sectarian and religious overtones are fair and balanced and that is an ongoing issue. >> do you have the last question? >> thank you for a lovely presentation. i just want to ask you from a practitioner's perspective because i work as an assistant producer at islam channel in london. i find it a bit hard to balance between the moderate views and the extremist because i have been asked to do some filtering, when inviting people on show, so what is your experience and suggestions or any comments about that balancing act? >> is a very difficult one.
it is one faced by programs every day, but especially when something happens. in islam, some extremists or something, something happens, and then there is a lot of internal navelgazing among editorial staff as to whether it is justified to call him an extremist who has three followers to talk about a story. there is no clear line as to when you do that but i think sometimes it is justified to call in the chaudhry's of this world. if something happened in that spirit that he can talk about, as long as you contextualize and say this is not a guy with half a million followers. he has got five followers. context is all, i think. as we discussed, it is kind of
difficult to apply these conservative or orthodox or ultra-orthodox categories. challenge, i can talk perspective, there is always a real effort to try and balance and be as impartial as possible, while at the same time recognizing that we all come with their own frame of reference and that it is an ongoing challenge to try and do that. >> on behalf of the attendees of the conference and the center for media, religion, and culture, and the university of colorado, i want to thank you, jane. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] this morning on c-span, former rhode island representative patrick kennedy prescription jet
abuse. theowed by a discussion on inspired bymocracy alexis de tocqueville. "washington journal" has a look n, the online currency. the obama administration released its cyber security framework report, guidelines for companies to improve security. a discussion hosted by the air force association today, live at 10:00 a.m. on c-span. later, u.s.-russia scholars review the history of the relationship between the two countries. from the collapse of the soviet union to the relationship between president obama and live coveragen, at 2:00 p.m. eastern from the brookings institution.
the title is "down to the crossroads." writes march that begins in memphis and ends in jackson. you can make an argument that the civil rights movement aproaches across road -- crossroads. the call for black power is first heard on this march. it immediately jennife generates controversy and a swelling of enthusiasm. it ignites a new direction in black politics. those changes might have happened anyway, but the merit of march dramatized this shift. together civil rights leaders and regular people in this laboratory of black
politics moving through mississippi. they created germanic moments that highlighted key divisions -- it created dramatic moments that highlighted key divisions and strengths of the movement. >> a look at the civil rights movement, saturday and sunday on "afterwards." joseph takes your questions and calls on in-depth. you still have time to comment o n book tv's online book club. >> the clinton foundation annual health matters conference in california hosted a discussion on young people a bruising -- abusing prescription drugs. patrick kennedy talked about his own struggles with addiction.
this is one hour and 10 minutes -- this is one hour 10 minutes. >> please welcome to the stage, emergency room physician dr. travis stork and the mental health and prescription abuse prevention panel members. [applause] >> i am dr. travis stork for those of you who do not know me. a lot of people know me as the host of the television show "the doctors." what a lot of people don't realize is that in my real life i am an er doctor. this is important because i truly believe that what we can do today is help save lives. consider this -- in the next 19 minutes while we sit before you, someone will die from a drug overdose that is preventable. all of these deaths are preventable. we call them accidental but in
many ways they are not accidental at all. that is what we will be discussing today. i want to encourage anyone who is watching at home and streaming this, we would love you to become a part of this situation. you can tweet a question to us at #healthmatter2014 and i would like to get you involved with an initial question. the question i have for all of you is, what is the most common source for people who abuse prescription drugs to obtain the medication? is it a, they got it from a drug dealer or a stranger, b, they bought it from a friend or relative, c, it was prescribed or obtained free
from a relative or a friend? you can text or tweet your answers to us. we will give you the results later and the correct answer. without further ado, i would like to welcome my fellow panelists. we will go down the line starting with congressman patrick kennedy. tell us why this matters to you individually. >> thank you. thank you to the clinton foundation and all of the sponsors. about a year ago, after leaving congress i went to get a new doctor where i was living in southeast jersey. i have gotten a lot of publicity locally in the atlantic city press because i married a jersey girl and they made a big deal i was in the area. they talked about how i had been the sponsor of mental health parity and addiction act. i was recovering and doing all this work in mental health and addiction. i go to my new physician and i'm also asthmatic.
i' go to the doctor and he asked me, does my height, weight, blood pressure, asks me about my lung capacity and all the rest. before the recent scandal with my colleague trey radel, i was the trey radel. i'd been arrested for driving under the influence, i have been splashed over the national press for being an addict and i went to treatment and the like. i pretty well recognized if you am know anything about this as the face of someone in recovery. the shocking thing was, like most of my physicians in the past, i go and they don't ask me one question about my anxiety, my depression, or how my recovery is doing. so we have health care today
trying to decide how to do health care and my message is you need to include mental health care in health care. you need to include in your doctor's checkup, a check up from the neck up. so that the 50% cases, travis, that you see as an emergency room doctor, those are all driven not by the back pain the person is saying they are in for or the irritable bowel syndrome or the fact they have lacerations or broken bone. all of those are symptoms of an untreated depression, anxiety, or severe and persistent mental illness. yet, your colleagues in medicine are not trained or culturally disposed to ask their patients about the most important organ in their body -- their brain. it is shocking.
[applause] my story is that i try to tell the story. the couple that turned the tragedy of their son's suicide and turned it into the largest best practice for preventing situations like that which had befallen them. my hat is off to them for what they have with the jet foundation. >> one of the goals of the panel today is to help explain to people what addiction really is, why it happens, and why it is occurring so frequently, especially amongst teenagers. dr. volkow? >> thank you for having me here. i went to reiterate what congressman kennedy said about the issue of wellness but we should also address mental illness or substance abuse
disorder. why are we attracted to drugs? are attracted to drugs because they can subvert, they hijack a system that has taken millions in millions of years of evolution for nature to make organisms, including humans, do behaviors that will push us forward for survival and survival of the species. it does that by stimulating reward centers in the brain. that is why we eat, we procreate, have social interaction, that is why we moved. it is highly rewarding. drugs can stimulate those same systems. that is why we are probing into very primitive mechanisms that can create trouble. as we are speaking about prescription medication, one of the things that people think when they take them or abuse them is that they cannot be very harmful because they are given by physicians. the reality is that certain types of medications like
analgesics or stimulants with opioids, they have the same capacity to stimulate the reward centers and as a result they can be addictive. we are in a system where a medication that can have very beneficial effects when used inappropriately can result in habit. through research, we now understand how drugs start to change the brain in ways that actually make you much less sensitive to other types of reward. imagine, you wake up in the morning and nothing motivates or excites you. the main drive becomes taking the drug. your brain learns it. it is a learning that is automatic. you don't need to be conscious about it. it is like the pavlov reflex. you get exposed to that stimulus and you immediately desire it. the issue is that at the same time, the frontal area of your brain which is the one that
allows you to exert cognitive control, to make a decision and say i am not going to do it, is also harmed by the repeated administrations of these drugs. at the end, you have a brain that is functioning differently from a brain that is not addicted to drugs. those changes are very long-lasting. it highlights why we need to address the issue of substance abuse disorders and addiction and diseases of the brain that requires treatment. at the same time, recognizing that and addressing the importance of wellness, we need to address prevention is a key component for all of us as a society to improve the outcome of our citizens. >> i think it is important. addiction can affect anyone at
any time. there is not one person in this audience or watching at home that this can't potentially happen to and a lot of it is biological. there are reward centers and it is not just drugs. there are a lot of things in this world -- remember the last time you tried to put down a doughnut. addiction is something that is rampant out there. david sheff is an author. you have written so eloquently about addiction and your personal experience with that. glad to have you as part of the panel. >> thank you. the first thing i want to say is to be clinton health matters initiative that it is an extraordinary you are taking it on. the first time i met patrick kennedy i was on capitol hill and i came to talk about drugs and addiction. he said all you have to mention on capitol hill, drug addiction and mental health, people will
flee. we don't have a lobby. addicts are not in shape to lobby for themselves and families are in hiding because of the shame around the disease. in fact, i would not he here it at all had i not been dragged into this field, into this world when my son became addicted as a child. he first tried drugs when he was 12 years old. within a short amount of time, he used every drug you could think of. he was on the streets, he stole from us. i got the calls in the the middle of the night that parents dread. we have your son and we don't think is going to make it. but, he did. the reason he did is only because we are lucky. i realize now how lucky we are because i hear every single day from people who tell me stories about their own children, their sons and daughters, their beautiful boys and beautiful girls who were just like my son, just like nick, but they did not
make it. 19 people -- a person dies every 19 minutes. addiction is the number three killer in america, yet we don't talk about it. what i'm excited about now is that the conversation is changing. it is changing because of the people on this panel. the obama administration has made some remarkable steps forward. we have so far to go and i think the thing that i feel will make the difference, the biggest difference, is that we are having the conversation. second, when we understand that drug use is often a symptom. we talk about drugs and tell kids to say no, we try to scare them. we really have to understand that the reason most people use drugs, the reason our children do -- there was a study where they asked parents all over the country why they think their kids use drugs.
the answer was overwhelmingly, because it feels good. to get high. peer pressure. but when they were asked the kids, they asked teenagers, the number one answer they gave was stress. i think we need to wonder why our kids are so stressed out. what is happening in our world on one hand, we have this pressure on kids that by the time it there 12 years old they have not filled out college resumes they will fail in life, and on the other hand we have kids growing up without support, families, in broken neighborhoods. until we deal with the underlying reasons kids are using drugs, we will not solve this problem. the hopeful news is that it is solvable. >> john andnoopur who you have already met, i want this to be a discussion. everyone here has a personal
attachment to this issue. the first thing i would like to do is to further establish how severe of a problem this is. we are living in a day and age where one in four teens has misused a prescription medicine. you mentioned stress. what are all the factors? one in four -- so if you have a home with four kids, chances are one of them has misused prescription medicine. >> first of all, prescription drugs are too easy for kids to get. most of the time we think of drug dealers on the street. that is not necessarily where kids are getting prescription drugs. people don't understand. they're prescribed by doctors and their parents take them, kids think they are safe. the other reason is that reason people use drugs, they're called painkillers, the opiates,
because they kill pain. people suffer whatever it is. when you are a teenager, you are stressed out, you're heading off to college and you're away from home for the first time. you are dealing with a world that is overwhelming in many cases and somebody hands you a pill. you take it and figure out how to get a pill. guess what? they work. the pain goes away, at least for a while. so often we go back for another. >> i will just add that i presented some of the statistics about college students and the issue of stress and anxiety and feeling overwhelmed and depressed. it is really pervasive. it really raises the question about how we are supporting them. the earlier panel talked about loneliness as a disease and the idea that a person feels alone and isolated as opposed to connected and belonging to a community is a big part of this.
what can we do, what can schools do to help you be connected and feel like they belong is a big part of this. for those struggling with mental health issues, how are we identifying them? how are we connecting with them for help? how do we do with the stigma of raising their hand and asking for help? this is part of this. >> i will jump in. i think that one of the biggest challenges, when you talk about prescription medicines, prescriptions do start in the doctor's office, in the emergency department. the great irony is that these medicines are prescribed to treat pain. one of the central tenets of medical school is that you are taught very early on -- treat your patients' pain. when someone comes in in pain,
you, as a physician, want to treat their pain. underneath this veil of treating pain, this massive epidemic of drug abuse has occurred. it was slowly simmering. patrick, you at the nail on the head. there is a disconnect between a physician who is trying to treat pain but maybe not fully understanding that the pain that they now need to be treating is truly a mental health issue as well as a physical pain. i would like you to address that, but quickly, to keep everyone involved out there, we asked what is the common source for people who abuse prescription drugs to obtain their medication. the results we have are 71% said that it was d, obtained free from a relative or a friend. that is absolutely correct. that leads into the discussion that people somehow think these
are safe, which it is not. there readily available. >> in the clinton foundation, it is all about big picture and how we can change the health-care system. but ultimately, we need to d,orient, as dr. volkow sai our culture. our culture needs to be reoriented to stop keeping quiet about this. the biggest enemy is silence. it is the pathology of not being able to talk about the elephant in the room. my mom had suffered from severe and persistent mental illness and alcoholism. we never talked about it. my family is pretty progressive, liberal minded and never breathe d a word about it. then she disappeared to go to treatment. david writes about it. the biggest challenge is that we need a conversation.
i love the idea that mtv is trying to break these barriers down. it is the stigma that is our most insidious enemy. this is not just about prescription drug abuse. as david pointed out, i could have been addicted to anything. i was genetically predisposed, had an environment that encouraged it, and then -- it was oxycontin for me for a while. i was hospitalized for that but then i came out and could not sleep, so i started abusing ambien. you could give me anything, and as an addict, i would abuse it. we need to get to the bigger picture. it is not the name of the drug, it is the underlying issue, as you said, about the mental health. as our culture goes forward, we do not have the nomenclature to talk about our emotional and psychic development, the spiritual development that is so crucial to us as human beings. we teach our kids but leave out
this important piece that part of their development is being able to be a social being and not be stuck on their phone or their ipod. i love technology, but part of our problem is that we are more connected yet more disconnected. we don't have that human interaction that the previous panel talked about. that is going to be one of the big public health issues that we need to talk about and i salute president clinton. he may have, unbeknownst to him when he did americorps, instilled part of the answer. the answer is service to others, connectedness to your community, and serving your fellow human being, your brother and sister, who needs help. that is how my medication for my disease of self-centeredness is trying to help someone else. i would just offer that as a broader topic. i know it deviates from your issue of, how do we get doctors to change?
frankly, everyone has to change. >> it is patients and doctors working together. it is also community-based. we were talking earlier. if you go back in time -- you mention abusing oxycontin which has become a very common word. a lot of may or may not know , it is a narcotic painkiller. and there are a lot of different types, but they also really have the same effect. they are in the same family with morphine and heroin. the more commonly known street drug, but more people are drying from prescription drug abuse than heroin and cocaine combined. if you go back in time when you were abusing oxycontin, where was your headspace? because i think part is what is difficult to understand is if they have never abused a drug, how do you communicate? hatchere first panel,
-- patrick, who was talking about the cancer personalized medicine. they're doing screenings. we need screenings for anxiety and depression. you don't ask me where i come from, what my family situation is, what i am dealing with, you are going to keep writing the scripts that keep me -- whatever the doctor was doing -- but after a while, everyone had to have known. i had been in and out of rehab a dozen times and no one was still asking me. it is not on my medical record. i go to a new doctor and, guess what? if it's not on my record they will give me what i want. we have both a cultural problem and then you ask about a system problem, as the first panelist talked about. we can correct that. we can treat that like any other physical illness because this is not just a character flaw. although, you have lots of character flaws when you are an addict. this is also a chemistry issue as director volkow can tell us.
our medical system is not trained for this. they don't know how to ask about it. travis, that is the big issue that we need to change. >> you acknowledge that as a patient, you were physically going to the doctor and getting medicines from doctors. let's briefly talk about the focus of the panel, which is colleges and teenagers. there are a lot of people that are getting these medicines through friends and acquaintances assuming they are safer because it was written as a prescription by a physician. how do we impact these kids that are going off to college away from mom and dad for the first time, and a friend says, hey. i have some of these. it is prescribed by a doctor. try this. >> one of the ways is to help the students understand that the drugs are not safer.
we had a student that we spoke with when were doing research for these videos who says that she was taking energy drinks to prepare for an exam and her friend said, i can't believe you're taking energy drinks. you should take adderall instead. energy drinks are so bad for you. [laughter] i was caught off guard. i couldn't believe that was the thinking. with actual true information about the reality of the consequences, that is one big way to move the needle. as people have said on the panel, getting to the underlying issues of why the students are so stressed. the third thing i wanted to point out, and the big focus of a half of us over the past seven years has been speaking to the friends of those people who are thinking of taking the drug or are abusing them. friends are often the first line of defense. young people are more likely to turn to their friends more than any other source if they are
dealing with an issue. if we equip friends with the knowledge and information and empower them to step in when they see a problem occurring, and i think that will help us get a lot of the way there. >> one of the things it is very important in college. the two drugs that are most frequently used are pain drugs and stimulants. like you were mentioning, adderall. something we have not discussed, the pressure that these kids have in order to perform in their scholastic study, in order to be able to achieve the grades that they need. if they see another kid studying with stimulants, they feel the pressure that if they don't take them, they will be at a disadvantage. in a very interesting way, we are creating a system that is pushing them to take a medication that outside the context, can actually be very addictive. with respect to pain medications, the issue is compounded.
as a culture, we are used to trying to solve all the problems we have with a pale. to have an idea of how important these prescription-focuses in united states, in 2011 there were 230 million prescriptions for either hydrocodone or oxycontin. these are opiate medications. think about it -- 230 million prescriptions. that means -- how many americans do we have? do we really have such a country in such a level of pain that we require these prescription medications? we need to address the cultural aspects we have as a society that may be promoting the use of substances as a way to resolve issues that make us feel uncomfortable, such as pain or i am inattentive, i cannot pay attention. >> we are in a society that is obsessed with taking pills and i say that as a physician.
it is interesting that we have 5% of the world's population and yet we use about 75% of the prescription medicines. those can be lifesaving and they certainly are in many cases, or they can cut lives short. it is interesting when you talk about stimulants. ritalin, adderall, they can be very effective who kids who need them. but one in eight use them without a prescription and in some cases, you even have parents begging the doctor to get their kids on these medicines and that is another cultural problem because they are not meant to be taken without the guidance of a physician for a known medical problem. i think that gets back to the culture of -- it is a pill, it was prescribed for someone, let's just see if it works. let's see if it helps me study better or makes me more relaxed.
>> is interesting because the data shows that college students that use stimulants for academic reasons do not actually perform better than those who don't use them. that is part of the knowledge and awareness gap on this issue. students don't appreciate that it is illegal. they don't think through whether or not it's ethical or it is right. the fact that perhaps that they can do this themselves. the safety risks, as you said. that is part of what needs to be filled in here. as families, as physicians, can help students as they transition from high school to college by talking about the fact that this will come up, that they will be told about these drugs and how, and give them the skills and tools to say no and be ready for it when it happens. >> david has written publicly about your son's addiction. what kind of conversation should parents be having with their kids?
>> we should start way earlier than we think. we should assume -- every parent i talk to is worried about drugs and yet, no one knows how to have a conversation. no one knows what to do about it. since we know that so much drug use and escalated use and addiction is related to a whole list of risk factors, if you have addiction or metal illness in your family, if you have psychological disorders, if a child is experiencing a loss or a trauma -- once we understand these things, it we know that if parents are educated, we know that we can teach adults to look even closer at our children. as a physician told me, a pediatrician, if you think your
child is struggling, they are struggling. rather than wait for something or the problem to escalate, intervene as soon as you can. you are not expected to be a doctor. take your child to a doctor. find out what is going on. if there is need for an intervention, that is the time to intervene. >> i think everyone has stressed the connection between mental health and in many cases that leading to prescription drug abuse or misuse. i want to get to a question that we got from allison wilson on live stream that says what can be used to increase awareness on mental health on when and where to access care? i have to imagine there is a lot of fear in taking that first step to access the system is because mental health -- people are very afraid to admit when mental health issues arise. >> i'm kind of like that old
hair club for men guy. not only am i the founder of the country, i am also a client. we read the mental health parity and addiction act, which was meant to it eliminate the insurance disparities in accessing care for mental health and addiction. there were higher treatment limitations when it comes to brain illness like addiction or depression than it was for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, for example. we have to implement the law. george w. bush signed into law. bipartisan. president obama is implementing this mental health parity. we cannot have mental health be something separate, although there are separate issues for people with severe and persistent mental health . you cannot treat a person with cardiovascular disease or
diabetes. you hear that often. we heard about these chronic illnesses. you can't leave out mental health. it cannot be a purview of psychiatrists and the like. it has to be the purview of all of those treating health conditions. because, as those of you who were interested in outcomes, as trevor is, the outcomes are going to be better if you are treating the cardiovascular patient who has depression, they are four times more likely to have another heart attack. if they are a diabetic and they are drinking alcohol, forget about it. it is not a bifurcation of medical health over here -- it is not a bifurcation of mental health over here and physical health over here. it is really about making sure that it is seamless and if i don't have to go down the hall to where the psych ward is, i'm not going to be obsessed about whether i have a mental health
issue or not because it is going to be a routine part of my checkup and will not be so unusual when the doctor says, what is your anxiety level? how many drinks have you had this week? questions that we do not get asked in the health care system. [applause] >> it is so important that anyone out there that is needing or wanting access to mental health care -- number one, you are public about your own struggles. mental health and seeking help can and is a private matter. there are so many resources out there. one of the reasons we are doing the panel is because hand in hand, you see the mental health issues often time, saturday night in the emergency department, everyone would think that the majority of people are there for car accidents, gunshot wounds. sometimes they are, but there are other nights where the majority of people are there for mental health issues which lead to drug abuse which do, and set
tosad cases, lead unfortunate and untimely deaths. >> when you are writing up an insurance claim, do you put contusion, laceration, in order to be reimbursed by our insurance friends, or do you start by saying if you treat this person's alcoholism or addiction, they will not be falling down the stairs? if you say they are in the er because they drank, you might jeopardize the reimbursement by the insurance company. that is the facts of life. >> i don't want to get into how health care is changing, but we are headed to the point of how do we prevent all this from happening in the first place? that was the focus in the most important part of the panel. you mentioned the importance of access to mental health. moving back a little bit in time to teenagers and younger kids, because i can't help but believe that of all the people out there
that are trying and experimenting, that is the age where we can prevent experimentation, we can prevent some of these unfortunate deaths. >> to add to that, i think what we have seen through the campaign over the years is that several of the reasons young people don't goal and seek that care, access is one issue but they don't want to see it because one, they feel like they are the only one that feels this way. and nobody is going through this so no one could possibly understand and help them. you heard patrick, the young man in the video, say that. he said he felt like that was something that other people did not go through. second, they feel like it is embarrassing and shameful and do not want to be labeled as someone with a mental health issue. thirdly, some of them might feel, is treatment really going to work? that is where authentic storytelling comes in and that is what we have done in our partnership with the foundation
is to use real, authentic stories of students to show that you are not alone. there are people just like you going through the same thing. we hear stories from celebrities like macklemore, who was the biggest artist for our audience right now, showing that it is not shameful. it is ok to open up and say you have an issue. we show success stories of people who went to rehab or got treatment and that worked and that it a good experience for them. with those real stories, we can get them through that first barrier, which is going and looking for the help. >> i want to emphasize the chronic nature of these illnesses so that they don't just go to rehab and poof, the issue goes away. we need to have the chronic care model that is applied to diabetes and asthma, cardiovascular disease, incorporate mental health. all these folks on mtv telling their stories are going to need to continue to stay in recovery and that requires what is known
as cognitive behavioral therapy. in many respects, change the way you act and think. that is being paid for by all of our competitors in countries around the world. the united states was the one that came up with cognitive behavioral therapy, but we have exported it and we have not used it in our own country. there is so much we could do to improve the mental health and well-being of our own people and yet, as we heard in previous panels, it is not paid for. it is not reimbursed. >> the panel before, they spoke about the notion of loneliness. this woman being lonely. loneliness is going to put her at great risk for substance abuse disorder. among teenagers, what puts them at greater risk is the lack of alternatives. an environment where they cannot excel at their particular task. therefore it is not surprising that we see in over representation of kids that come
from the lower socioeconomic levels that have higher rates of abuse because they do not have alternatives. in addressing wellness, teaching kids behaviors that are not just going to be good for their body, they are going to be helping them overcome and prevent substance abuse disorder and mental illness. the notion that we need to integrate mental illnesses and substance abuse with our whole bodies. >> we need tools, kids feel stressed and anxious. i never got the tools and i was already in crisis. the key is early on, show people if you do this you will feel better. if you get socially connected, you will feel better. there are certain things that we know work and they are only given to us after we implode and
we end up in rehab and we go to 12 step recovery, do we get to know. how do we live? we did not know before how to live. i think you can start to incorporate some of those best practices. you can triage. i know my kids are going to have a genetic predisposition and if you add a stressful event in their lives, we ought to be able to see where we put our resources. this is not a one-size-fits-all. you can find out based on a personal interview with someone what their family background is and just like you would do in the original story about cancer, they checked my family. everyone of my family has had cancer so i get all sorts of cancer screenings. no one ever bothers to ask me about the history of mental illness and addiction in my family. why not? isn't it the same? doesn't it create equal
morbidity and mortality as cancer? you bet. no one is talking about it and we need to change that fundamentally so it is not just a separate, oh, let's deal with mental health and addiction over here. it comes about how to address it. >> that conversation is occurring. there is a panel later about healthy lifestyles. ironically, a lot of people would not associate it with a healthy lifestyle but we will talk about how simple lifestyle changes and greatly reduced the risk of depression. in other mental illnesses that can lead to drug abuse. we are running out of time but i do want to ask one of our panelists to help answer this one last question from sean on twitter. this is part of the discussion. when should we discuss the culture of pressure and unhealthy competition that drives kids to prescription drug abuse? >> i was going to say that kids
-- i talked to them all the time. they think drugs are cool. the fact that mtv is doing this -- who is going to connect with kids more powerfully than what you are doing? we have to change the conversation. the other thing, we also have a culture that glorifies drug use and we rarely talk about the glories, rewards, joys of recovery. we have the schism, this idea that -- 80% of our kids before they are 18 are going to try something they are not supposed to. a prescription medication, drink, smoke pot, try harder drugs. those kids, we view the it is like good and bad. good kids don't use drugs, bad kids use drugs. the truth is they are our kids. they're not good or bad kids. they are our kids and we have to help them grow up as safely as we can. it is going to take media, programs like the jet foundation, it is going to take the research that is happening in the natl